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Old 10-24-2002, 05:19 PM   #1
MrJaemz
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1997 Impreza 2.2L
Yellow

Question Sway bars worth the $ ?

Hey guys,

My car is a lot of fun to drive, but it rolls around on corners way too much now, since I got sticky tires. I'm assuming if I get front and rear sway bars that I'll have less body roll and sharper handling? Has anyone installed the Whiteline Sway Bars? I'm heading to the Vancouver area in a few weeks and was planning on a trip to PDM Racing to get them... if they're worth it...
How 'bout strut tower braces? Do they do anything significant?

Thanks,

James
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Old 10-24-2002, 05:34 PM   #2
youthanasia
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Buy it if you need it, if you don't, then just save your money for something else. It's one of these mods that can drastically change your car's behavior, specially in low traction situations. Know how it changes your car's dynamics. Then make your decision.
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Old 10-24-2002, 06:03 PM   #3
MrJaemz
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Default good point, but...

Ya, I've read a bit about how sway bars affect understeer, oversteer, turn-in, cornering, etc. I can live with re-learning how my car handles as long as the body roll is gone. That's my main concern. But perhaps I'm looking for a bandaid solution for a bigger problem: the stock mushy suspension setup. Remember, I have a Impreza L Sedan, not an RS. The stock suspension was obviously never intended to be driven the way I drive it. I'm hoping for some advice from someone who's "been there, done that".

James
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Old 10-24-2002, 06:28 PM   #4
RC
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nice car

well

the bigger the swaybar u go the less grip u will have, but of coz less body roll


if u are looking for better turn in and feel
try to play with the camber setup a bit



tower bar only make the car's frame stronger as result of that suspension will work better, so u get a better feel of the car



of coz it is all up to u
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Old 10-24-2002, 06:43 PM   #5
MrJaemz
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Default less grip?

Sorry for the ignorance...

Why would I have less tire grip with a bigger sway bar?

James
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Old 10-24-2002, 06:55 PM   #6
Ken
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I'm on low profile 17"s in the summer with the stock rear sway bar and find the handling acceptible. I just keep playing with the front/rear tire pressure to get the right characteristics without having to splurge for a 18mm. bar, or whole new v5/6/p1 suspension kit - although new suspension would help with body role. But there are those that like an aggressive setup with a 20-22 rear sway bar.
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Old 10-24-2002, 07:41 PM   #7
UltraGucci
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Thumbs up Sway Bars....I got em

MrJaemz,

I would not call it ignorance ( in reference to RC).

Bigger sway bars do not give you less grip. End of story.

Bigger swaybars reduce the amount of body roll on a car and thereby reducing the amount of roll weight that is forced over the sidewall of the tire and helps to keep a larger contact patch of tire on the road.......increased grip.

The rear swaybar alone on the Impreza car line make a HUGE difference in the way the car handles.

If you go with the 22mm swaybar (Whiteline) from PDM with the upgraded links, you will notice that the car is a lot more tossable. It will exhibit a little more oversteer which is more fun and a lot faster way to go through a corner (at the expense of the more safer understeer).

Adding both a front and rear bar will eliminate even more body roll but you may not eliminate all the understeer that most people want rid of.

The stut bars:

The front strut bar is mainly for show. I have heard that with the short distance that the front strut towers are from the firewall greatly increased the torsional strength of the chasis, therefore we really don't 'need' a bar unless we are building a racecar or want one for show. (I have one, and it sure does look nice. And I can take corners in more control.....at least I think so )

Rear strut bar is a VERY GOOD ADDITION. The rear towers can do with some help in the strength dept. Therefore I highly recommend the purchase. Easy install, just don't over tighten the 3 strut bolt on each side.

FYI I have:
22mm front bar (Whiteline)
front HD links (Whiteline)
Front strut bar (Whiteline)
24mm rear bar (Whiteline)
rear HD links (Whiteline)
rear strut bar (Whiteline)
Rear HD swaybar bracket (Whiteline)
Eibach springs

The ride is really smooth and corners really well, NICE AND FLAT.

I installed everything myself (with advice from i-Club members)

Everything was bought from PDM - Very good guys there........free plug

I would recommend playing with camber and toe settings and tire pressures as these are cheap and very easy ways to modify the way your car handles.

If you have any other questions, just fire them my way.

Overall the rear swaybar is the BEST place to start.

later,

UltraGucci

Last edited by UltraGucci; 10-24-2002 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 10-24-2002, 07:56 PM   #8
MrJaemz
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Default

Thanks UltraGucci

I like hearing advice from someone who's got first hand knowledge - nothing replaces experience!

James

P.S. Does the rear strut tower brace go in the trunk? (I'm too lazy to go outside and look at my car )
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:02 PM   #9
UltraGucci
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Default strut bar

Yes it goes in the trunk.

I have pictures of most of the stuff at home.

I will try to post them when I get hoem from work.

later,

UltraGucci.

PS- get the springs from PDM.....(Eibach) they are dirt cheap and aren't too stiff. If your shocks are in reasonable shape they should be okay for a few years.

Gotta go.
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:28 PM   #10
Necromancer
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Yeah, that's about right.

Default Re: Sway Bars....I got em

Quote:
Originally posted by UltraGucci
Bigger sway bars do not give you less grip. End of story.
Bzzt. Wrong. Sway bars reduce the independence of the suspension, so they can reduce grip on the tire opposite the jounce'd tire. Think about it for a minute, guys -- why doesn't the WRC run a 10000mm sway bar? Because there's such a thing as suspension tuning, and it doesn't include the statements "bigger is better" and "I need to eliminate body roll."

There is so much misinformation in this thread that it really should be locked. You guys need to try a search, or at least read Mike Shield's site at www.spdusa.com for a primer.
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:29 PM   #11
Ooter
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I'm another supporter of the rear whiteline 18-22mm swaybar with brackets and links. Made a huge difference on my TS even with the stock suspension and RE92 tires.

PDM - definitely the place to go if you decide to go ahead with it.

Doug
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:37 PM   #12
alexs001
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Default

I got the FHI 20mm rear sway bar and the difference is amazing. Now might not be the best time to make such a change to the suspension as the bad weather season is fast approaching and you'll still be adjusting to the change when there's snow on the ground.

Car looks excellent, btw. How do I never see you around town?
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Old 10-24-2002, 09:00 PM   #13
Urthling
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Default Bzzt

I will quote Necromancer "so they can reduce grip on the tire opposite the jounce'd tire", in other words the inside tire that does almost NOTHING in a corner.

To blow it out of proportion with a 10000mm bar......!!!! come on

To tune a car for better handling for the street and less body roll, use a suitable size bar 20-22mm is a good bar to use in this case. Any thicker and you get into other aspects of tuning.

Dude asked about how it changes the car Roll) and increased grip. the rear sway bar helps in both cases to a point.

it is called balance.

Bzzt my ass

a moderate bar helps
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Old 10-24-2002, 09:06 PM   #14
warlord225
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Default

my setup
3 deg front camber
2 deg rear camber

stiffer front sway bar 22mm
murder on tires but great handling
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:15 PM   #15
Necromancer
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Yeah, that's about right.

Default Re: Bzzt

Quote:
Originally posted by Urthling
I will quote Necromancer "so they can reduce grip on the tire opposite the jounce'd tire", in other words the inside tire that does almost NOTHING in a corner.
Oh, since when does the inside tire never hit any drops?

And if you're not using your inside tire to set the car into a turn, you've got a very interesting driving style and I'd rather not share the track with you.


Quote:
To blow it out of proportion with a 10000mm bar......!!!! come on
Well, if it's true that "bigger sway bars will not give you less grip, end of story," then 100mm gives you at least as much grip as 20mm, and 10000mm maybe even more so. Heck, why not just pull a live axle out of a 1959 Bel Air and stuff it in the back of the car? People need to think about their statements before they write manifestos.


Quote:
it is called balance.
Yup, and for stock Impreza L sedan suspension, a decent road setup is 19mm (stock) front / 18mm back. Stiff roll bars on soft suspension is one of the common problems of poorly done mods. Usually because people run out of money before they can set things right with the proper dampers.


Anyway, what the original poster needs to do (as he would have discovered if he had done a search) is to forget the swaybar for now and purchase a used 2.5RS suspension for roughly the same price. That will get him the proper dampers and springs to tune the handling more towards a road setup. Last time I checked, "body roll" isn't a meaningful excuse for poor lap times.

In 4 years of tuning my '97 L, you'd think I'd have tried these things.
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:23 PM   #16
Necromancer
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Yeah, that's about right.

Default

Also, James, keep in mind that most aftermarket bars for the Impreza are designed for the JDM WRX, which has even stiffer stock suspension settings than the North American 2.5RS. (specifically springs -- the dampers are virtually the same, but the car rides taller overall)

Anyway, PDM knows what they're doing and won't set you the wrong way. I do think that if you are going aftermarket, though, you should consider a real suspension package instead of something that only gives you the illusion of good handling. Too many wrecked modified cars have only proven this point.

The suspension forum has lots of good info for you. And lots of bad info, too. Whom do you trust? Your own brain. If it doesn't make sense, it probably isn't right. Nuff said.
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:44 PM   #17
Penphoe
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Default

And this thread closure has been brought to you by common sense. Necrodork has lots of common sense. That's why he moved up from the Bay area to Vancouver, and then from Vancouver to Japan!

Kidding aisde, take what Joe has said about tuning and suspension. Go read Mike Shield's website. Do a search, especially in the ARCHIVES of i-club.

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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